1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar
Source link: http://archive.mises.org/6385/that-doherty-book/

That Doherty Book

March 16, 2007 by

Brian Doherty’s new book on libertarianism is getting some attention, and rightly so. This review by Justin Raimondo is particularly spirited.


Adam Knott March 16, 2007 at 1:49 pm

Brink Lindsey, the Cato executive mentioned by Mr. Raimondo, wrote a short piece in Liberty magazine in March 2003. In this article he lays out his reasons for being a “pragmatic” libertarian as opposed to a “radical” libertarian.

Reading an article such as Mr. Lindsey’s gives one a better idea of the kind of thinking that results in the particular type of libertarianism one practices.

Dennis March 16, 2007 at 3:19 pm

Maybe I belong in another time, but I always considered one of, if not, the defining characteristic of Libertarianism (and Classical Liberalism for that matter) to be a prohibition on the initiation of violence against other individuals and their property. Violence can only be justly utilized in self-defense.

I do not believe that the positions of Mr. Lindsey regarding the Iraq war and Mr. Cowen regarding his view of government in general, can be reconciled with this non-aggression principle. While, admittedly, Lindsey and Cowen are overall more supportive of liberty than most Republicans and Democrats, I do not understand how these individuals can be considered Libertarians, given what I believe to be the defining characteristic of Libertarianism.

If Libertarianism does not embody an across-the-board prohibition on the initiation of the use of violence, than what fundamentally differentiates it from other social philosophies?

Michael A. Clem March 18, 2007 at 1:44 pm

Dennis, I would say that as libertarianism becomes more popular, it faces the threat of being generalized to the point of being rendered useless or impotent as a political philosophy. As far as I’m concerned, the non-aggression principle IS the defining concept of libertarianism. Everything else is just the application or implications of it. It’s one thing if someone unintentionally misapplies the principle to a particular issue, but it’s another thing entirely if they choose to dismiss the principle altogether.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: